Our teachers come from many different backgrounds. What we have in common is a commitment to engage our chosen art forms with lifelong study. We are excited to share our knowledge, passion, and experience with you. Click on a photo below to learn more about a teacher, see their schedule and read their class descriptions.
At the age of six he began learning from his father, Steven Diaz, a 6th Dan in Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan. He has trained in Seol, New York, San Francisco, and Portland in a number of internal systems. He holds a 4th degree black belt and master instructor rank in the Korean art of Soo Bahk Do.
Autumn Edmonds has been teaching classical ballet in the Portland area for over 15 years. She delights in teaching students of all ages the beautiful art of ballet.
Barbara Fergusson supports and empowers her students with her relaxed, knowledgeable leadership in the classroom. Her teaching approach honors the individuality of each student, and endows them with the ability to recognize good alignment and find a correct sense of ease within each pose. Her goal is to teach students to tune into their own individual reaction to each pose, and see their practice as a series of lessons that can be applied both on the mat and in the world. A master teacher who has inspired several of her students to become teachers, Barbara began teaching yoga in 1980. She and fellow Yoga Room graduate Todd Jackson opened Portland Yoga Arts in 2002.
Kali Giaritta enjoys teaching dynamic yoga classes that incorporate more than just asanas (physical poses). In a typical class, you might learn a new breath exercise, meditation technique, a sanskrit phrase, or a good yoga joke. Kali's experience as a nationally touring musician, performing for a wide diversity of audiences, has also made it possible for her to quickly read a group of people and know what is needed to create a safe, supported and positive atmosphere.
Benjamin Gitchel, a qigong student of William "Uncle Bill" Frazier, has been a practitioner of JinJingGong since 2007, and has recently returned from studying in China at Mt. Emei with lineage holder Prof. Wang Qingyu, and the North American lineage disciples. His other passions include trance work and hypnotherapy (CHt, MNLP), as well as the study of harmony through number, geometry, and sound. He currently resides in Aurora, Oregon.
Katherine Haber, L.Ac teaches classes that focus on strength and invigoration through physical and meditative practices. She teaches the kids' capoeira programs at Flying Tortoise. All her life she has participated in physical activities. Following her diverse interests, she has worked with groups such as Ballet Arizona, The Little 500 and Team in Training. She own Laurelhurst Family Clinic next door.
Josef Haber, L.Ac began his study of the martial arts 1988. In the years since, he has been consistently dedicated to his training. In 2010 Josef graduated with honors from Emperors College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Santa Monica and returned to Portland. Later that year he founded his schools of BaGuaZhang and Capoeira. Josef teaches with an emphasis on student empowerment, utilizing the deeply transformative qualities of the arts he teaches.
Robert Richardson has over 20 years of experience with martial arts and has been a dedicated student of Josef Haber since 2009. His perspective is that martial arts are models for interaction—a study of relationships. Rather than focusing on techniques for fighting or self-defense, Robert helps students explore KungFu as a living and individually adaptable art for navigating the world. His teaching practice draws from other martial arts as well as his biology background. He also teaches introductory biology classes at Portland Community College.
Fritz Rice is Josef's Beijing training partner. He will be traveling from Seattle to Portland about once a month to teach Chen Tai Chi at Flying Tortoise. First class will be July 23, 2017 1:00-3:00pm.
Shanna Tani has delighted in headstand and lotus pose since childhood. Discovery of yoga as a college athlete and advanced training at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco taught her such poses practiced mindfully improve strength, flexibility, focus and self-awareness. Teaching with care and kindness, she encourages students to nurture themselves in their practice.